#Septemblog Day 23: Nostalgia Goggles.

Folks of a certain age (specifically, around mine) sometimes talk about how kids programming and cartoons currently on offer have gotten…weird. (That’s not even to address the disconcerting level of social programming and progressive messaging that is rife in current pop culture and has definitely worked its way into content for even the youngest of viewers–I’m looking at you, Blues Clues.)

I’ve just noticed in the last 5-10 years that cartoons are more frenetic, nonsensical, and terribly written than I remember them being in as a child. Compared to what’s popular now, something like the original Ducktales or Animaniacs is positively Shakespearean.

If you’re like me and you have shaken your head and muttered a “kids these days” sometime at the state of current animated television, I’d like to take you back to another era, where the animation was stilted and weird, the music was synthesizer-driven, and the storylines were completely bonkers: the mid-to-late 80’s, when one of the most pervasive animation production companies on television was a fever-dream known as DIC/Saban.

In case you need some reminding, here’s a compilation. It’s an amazing 7 hours long, but you can grab the progress bar and just scroll through randomly to bask in the weirdness of kids TV from 35 years ago:

(I don’t remember all of these, but I may have hummed along with half-forgotten theme music more than once.)

Let’s just say, my Gen X and Xennial brethren, we have no right to make judgments on what the kids are watching these days, at least in terms of story or visual style.

I can name that tune…

Random story, because why not:

More than 20 years ago, when I was in ninth grade…

[Pause to wipe away silent tears as I type those words]

…I had a friend named Chad who was a year behind me. Chad was into much cooler music than I was–though I should quickly clarify that we were both on that “Christian music ONLY” tip, at least at that time. So, Chad was into cooler *Christian* music than I was. In those days, I was still rocking out to early DC Talk (DCT fan since “Nu Thang,” y’all), Carman, MWS, and some of the late-80’s/early-90’s Christian hair-metal-type bands like White Cross, Petra*, and Whiteheart. I know–REAL hardcore.

Meanwhile, Chad was into the nascent Christian alternative scene in the 90’s, as well as other random fun things. While I had heard of this strange beast called “ska” not too long before, Chad bought me my first Five Iron Frenzy CD. He would sometimes mention bands I would pretend to recognize.

Well, Chad made me a mixtape of stuff he thought I would like, and while I remember some stuff on it (FIF, MxPx, Dime Store Prophets, etc.), there was one song I REALLY liked. It was a fun, silly rocker, no deep meanings, just something fast and loud to jam out to on your Walkman. (Remember the Walkman? Classic.)  I probably wore that part of the tape out, rewinding and replaying over and over. (Remember tapes? Remember rewinding?!? Good times.)

Fast-forward to maybe ten years ago. I was trying to recall the song. I could remember random lines of lyrics, but despite my best google-fu, was unable to find the song. We were now in the Youtube era, and I was hoping to find it SOMEWHERE. I had no idea who the band was, and I could only assume on the title. Well, a few years ago, I found it. And as it randomly came to mind today, I pulled up the video.

So, here you go. Please to enjoy, “I Take U Everywhere I Go” by Pushstart Wagon (and I recommend you turn it WAY up):

Is there a point to this story? *shrug* Not really. I just like this song. Maybe you will, too. And if you don’t, that’s cool.

[*Yes, yes, yes, Petra started much earlier–I’m talking about the John Schlitt, “Beyond Belief” era Petra here.]